Friday, 20 January 2012

What if I'm wrong?

Evidence inconsistent with our believes or ideas is the fastest way to new understanding and meaning.

Prove me wrong. Due me a favour and prove me wrong. That way I will gain new knowledge and understanding. Isn't that the point behind mature arguments and discussions?
Yes, I know a lot of arguments and discussions are about who is the cleverest,the wittiest, who has the last word (as if that amount to something), and even as to see who wins! What is there to win, who knows? But it seems that arguments and discussions are a playing or battle field for some that need to feel they won. It probably has to do more with an assurance issue than with truth and understanding, but there you go. We can say that those are not mature discussions.

I do believe that arguments and discussions should be a means to and end and that is to learn something, to be able to step out of a mistake, to find ways to grow and become better. They should be mature. Sadly, this does not happen often. To make it happen, at least one of the persons involve in the argument should have this view and make the most of the discussion. To do that we need to forget about our need to feel winners, to be in the right and to have the last word.

This simple view point over arguments and discussions applies not only to individual conversations, but may very well apply to interchange of opinions by representatives of institutions and organizations that we often see in the media or read about in the press. We are all familiar with news reporting on government representatives discussing hugely important issues and behaving like kids in a contest to see how is the wittiest, the funniest, and makes a fool of the other, but seldom have they acknowledge the favour when someone has pointed out a mistake or a better way to do things thus promoting the common good, which is in effect their major responsibility (or so it should). The same applies to the way big business is run and even to science and scholar debates and discussions. A waste of effort and opportunities!

When communicating with other and engaging into an argument the first thing that should come to mind is: Is this argument and person the adequate one to treat this issue? If it isn't then, why argue? Of it is, then why not be more open. Openness that leads to honesty, to a listening attitude, to empathy and to have some detachment of the issue discuss as to view it more objectively. This would give us a possibility to assess the value of our thoughts and/or believes (even emotions) and by reviewing them become able to shed whatever hindrances we find and keep what is of value, regardless of where it came from; the other person(s) involve in the conversation or argument or from ourselves. The we can walk away of the discussion with something to ponder and we would undoubtedly learn something. What a gift. It is worth while the effort. Imagine political debates for instance, run in this light by all participants? The same can be said of business, science and other debates or discussions. I believe we all would be better of.

The view on competition has to change to one of collaboration. The need to be aware of emotions such as greed or insecurities should be kept checked. But most of all a goal to learn and gain understanding. If you are not proven wrong, carry on with your conceptions and thoughts, for now. If you are proven wrong on something, be grateful and gracious about the gift you have just received. No doubt at least you did something right and looked at the other person(s) in the conversation as an equal and treated him with respect. That in itself is a great attitude that promotes good.

So, please, prove me wrong and you will have given me a great gift.

On a last thought:
I only talk to teach the value of silence. (That statement has an ironic twist to it, but it also makes a good point).
Therefore, enough said.

1 comment:

  1. Bien.

    A quote from Chang Tsai - "He who speaks knows not. He who knows speaks not." Where does that put us?



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